Protect Our Manoomin

For the Present Generation to the Seventh Generation

Statement Issued by Protect Our Manoomin to Occupy Duluth General Assembly on Global Day of Occupation October 15, 2011

It is the position of Protect Our Manoomin that because mining is a threat to our culture, our traditions, and our spirituality;

* We oppose mining because of the threat to our manoomin – our wild rice – which is a sacred gift from our Creator;
* We oppose mining because of the threat to our sacred nibi – our water;
* We oppose mining because of the threat to our ecosystem;
* We oppose mining because of the sulfates that will poison our waters and the mercury that will not only poison the water but the air that we breathe.

Therefore:

* We call on Corporate America to end the ecocide of our environment;
* We call on Corporate America to end their resource colonization of our homelands;
* We call on Corporate America to end their genetic engineering of wild rice.
* We call on our state legislators to pass laws that will protect our environment;
* We call on our state legislators to uphold and abide by the current environmental laws that are in place;
* We call on our state legislators to close the door on foreign multinational mining companies who want to rape and plunder our homelands.
* We call on our state legislators and our governor to protect the State Grain of Minnesota – Wild Rice.
* We ask that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency end their collusion with state legislators and the mining industry;
* We ask that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to uphold the Clean Water Act to protect our ceded lands;
* We ask that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to strictly abide by the Wild Rice/Sulfate Water Quality Standard of 10 milligrams per liter of sulfate.
* We ask the Federal government to uphold and abide by our treaties that provide for off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights on our ceded lands;
* We ask the Federal government to protect our ceded lands from the intrusion of foreign corporate resource colonies that will endanger the rights that we have on those lands.

We offer no compromise because there cannot be a compromise for the well-being of the environment or for the well-being of our people. We offer no compromise for the well-being of the present generation to the Seventh Generation.

Protect Our Manoomin invites all of you to join us to end this corporate greed that threatens our most precious gift – our water. We are born in water, we are made of water, and it is water that sustains us. We cannot afford to stand silent. We must make our voices heard.

We call on Occupy Duluth to take the lead in the Occupy Movement and establish a major goal of fighting against the environmental injustice and environmental discrimination that is at the core of the mining agenda. Duluth is ground-zero for the pollutants released from the Minntac and Keetac taconite mines on the Iron Range. This pollution will continue with Polymet, Twin Metals and the other copper resource colonies that are proposed to be built in our North Country. The toxins from these resource colonies will increase and foul the rivers and streams that flow into the St. Louis River and into Lake Superior. The Kennecott/Rio Tinto resource colony in Aitkin County will foul the waters of Lake Mille Lacs. This assault by foreign extractive corporations affects all of us – Anishinaabe and non-Native alike. If we are to stand against the mining industry, we can only be effective if we stand together. And together we demand environmental justice.

Protect Our Manoomin stands in solidarity with Occupy Duluth to end the corporate mining greed that threatens the well-being of both indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples alike.

We ask for all to protect our Mother Earth. Gichi-mii’gwech.

Statement delivered by Veronica Smith, Fond du Lac Ojibwe Nation

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